Sept. 9, 2004
ESPN's The Season will take viewers behind the scenes with Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) teams and athletes in a recurring, 11-part series chronicling college football in the ACC, Thursdays at 1 a.m. ET (10 p.m. PT), beginning September 9. The series, produced by ESPN Original Entertainment in association with the conference and Chicago-based media company Intersport, will feature a season-long look at the tradition of college football at ACC schools. ESPN's all-access look at ACC football will debut in a year the conference became one of the marquee leagues in college football with the addition of perennial bowl teams - Miami Hurricanes and Virginia Tech Hokies.
The Season: ACC Football will highlight one ACC school and its football program, providing an in-depth profile of the weeklong - Sunday through Saturday morning - preparation for an upcoming game at the school. Beyond week-to-week game preparation, The Season will also capture the personalities as well as the loyalty of the school's alumni and fans.
The ACC is in its 52nd year of competition. With its expansion to 11 teams, the conference is entering the 2004 season as arguably the best conference in football. It is the nation's winningest bowl conference with the 11 current league teams posting a combined record of 119-106-5 (.528) in post-season play. The ACC schools include: Clemson, Duke, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Maryland, Miami, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Virginia, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest.
Weekly, The Season will give the viewer an insider look at the following highlights:
Preparing for Saturday -- The series will highlight how each league team prepares for a Saturday game with on-the-field practice, film sessions, coaches' strategy meetings as well as team meetings.
The athletes -- Will be profiled as they navigate and balance the demands of playing powerhouse college football with their responsibilities as student athletes.
Pomp and pageantry -- Will chronicle the bands striking up their alma mater, the fight songs, the cheerleaders and the pep rally are all hallmarks of college football in the conference.
Each school tells a story -- Can the league's two new teams pick up where they left-off in the Big East - ranked among ACC's top two teams? Will Miami's Larry Coker continue his unblemished record against Florida State's Bobby Bowden? Has the novelty finally worn off from the Bowden Bowl? Are Clemson and Virginia the ACC's sleeper teams this year? And can Florida State quarterback Chris Rix finally fulfill his college football potential?
The Season: ACC Football -- September Schedule (subject to change):
Thursday, Sept. 9 at 1 a.m. overnight ET (10 p.m. PT)
Miami: After moving from the Big East to the ACC, the Miami Hurricanes were to open the season at home against arch-rival Florida State, but Hurricane Frances roared through the state, postponing the contest until Sept. 10. Still up for discussion: who has the inside track on the ACC to the BCS? Will Miami continue its dominance after winning five straight over the Seminoles? The Season: ACC Football will profile the Hurricanes as they prepared for Florida State.
Thursday, Sept. 16 at 1 a.m. overnight (10 p.m. PT)
Virginia: After going 8-4 last season including a Continental Tire Bowl upset victory over Pittsburgh, the Virginia Cavaliers are ranked No. 19 in the preseason ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll - one of five ACC teams ranked in the poll. The week's edition of The Season: ACC Football will capture coach Al Groh and the Cavaliers in Charlottesville, Va., as they prepared for their second game of the season against North Carolina.
Thursday, Sept. 23 at 1 a.m. overnight (10 p.m. PT)
Virginia Tech: From the late 1990s, Virginia Tech was perennially etched among the top-two programs in the Big East and an annual BCS contender. Coach Frank Beamer and the Hokies are entering the 2004 season in an unfamiliar territory - unranked in the preseason ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll and picked by many to finish sixth in its new 11-team conference, the ACC. The program will look at Virginia Tech's preparation leading up to their first ACC conference game against the Duke Blue Devils.
Thursday, Sept. 30 at 1 a.m. overnight (10 p.m. PT)
Florida State: Saturday, Sept. 25 in Tallahassee, Fla., will feature another match-up in the annual Bowden Bowl series, pitching father against son on each sideline. Last year at home, coach Tommy Bowden and the Clemson Tigers handed his dad's team (Bobby) its second loss of the season - dashing any hopes FSU had to play in a national title game. The week's show will cover the Seminoles' preparation for revenge in Tallahassee.
* Additional schedule for "The Season: ACC Football" will be announced later